Moving a German GmbH (limited liability company) is not difficult, and the formal process is not expensive either. It becomes even simpler when you have a comprehensive checklist.
Here’s our complete overview:
Inform the Trade Office Every company is registered with the Trade Office. According to § 14 paragraph 1 of the Trade Regulation Act (Gewerbeordnung or GewO), a change in the company’s registered address must be promptly reported to the Trade Office. Costs – Depending on the municipality, between 20-60 euros.
Register Changes with the Commercial Register For entrepreneurs registered in the Commercial Register, additional reporting obligations arise concerning the company’s registered office and domestic business address. These obligations vary based on the legal form of the company. In the case of capital companies (UG [limited liability], GmbH, AG), the registered office and domestic business address may differ. The domestic business address must also be registered in the Commercial Register. Under this address, the company must receive declarations of intent and documents. The address does not necessarily have to be at the same location as the main office or a part of the company, as long as the conditions for delivery are met. A change in the business address must be registered in notarized form with the Commercial Register. In addition to the specific domestic business address, the location of the company’s registered office must be determined by articles of association. The registered office is primarily relevant for matters of corporate law (such as the jurisdiction of the registration court). It can only be changed by amending the articles of association based on a shareholder resolution. The change of registered office must be reported in notarized form to the previously competent registration court. The court automatically forwards the documents to the court at the new location. The change of registered office only becomes legally effective upon its entry in the new Commercial Register. Regardless of the specific legal form, if a shareholder or managing director relocates to a different place of residence, the change of residence must be reported in notarized form to the Commercial Register for registration. Commercial Register fees for the various cases described usually range between 30 and 140 euros. Notary fees vary between 45 and 500 euros, depending on the application.
Notify the Tax Office When relocating, the current and new tax offices must be promptly informed of the new business address. The current tax office will transfer tax records to the new tax office as a matter of course. Due to the change in jurisdiction, this results in a change of tax number, while the VAT identification number remains the same.
Inform Social Insurance Providers Notify health insurance funds, which serve as collection agencies for social insurance contributions, of the new business address.
Notify the Accident Insurance Provider The accident insurance provider is responsible for statutory accident insurance for the company and possibly its employees. Inform the accident insurance provider about the company’s move, providing the date in advance if possible. Information on the relevant accident insurance providers can be found here: www.dguv.de.
Inform the Chamber of Commerce (IHK) Trade offices usually inform the Chamber of Commerce about changes in the business address or the relocation of the registered office. Nevertheless, it is recommended to inform the Chamber of Commerce about changed address details.
Notify Accountants and Lawyers
Notify the Employment Agency According to § 5 paragraph 5 of the Data Collection and Transmission Ordinance, employers are obligated to inform the Federal Employment Agency’s business number service of all changes to business data.
Notify Banks and Insurances Business banks and insurance providers should also be informed in advance about the relocation or new business address.
Adjust Business Documents and Signatures Ensure that mandatory information on business letters is also updated.
Update the Website’s Impressum According to § 5 paragraph 1 number 1 of the Telemedia Act, the impressum must be updated to reflect the changed address.
Notify Broadcasting Contribution Service Changes to the business premises or the closure of an old business premises must be promptly reported to the public broadcasting institutions’ contribution service (according to §§ 6 following the Broadcasting Contribution Agreement).
Update Vehicle Registration According to § 13 paragraph 1 number 1 of the Vehicle Registration Regulation, changes to the address of a vehicle owner must be promptly reported to the registration authority. Accordingly, these changes must also be reported to the registration authority for vehicles registered under a company. When moving to a new registration district, the re-registration takes place at the registration authority in that district. The cost is approximately 30 to 50 euros, plus the cost of printing new license plates if necessary.